More than six years after last riding at Sandown, veteran jockey Brian Werner will be back on Wednesday looking to give his comeback to the saddle the perfect kick-start.
Werner walked away from racing and riding in 2006 after a 29-year career.
But with a strong desire to return to riding, the 52-year-old made a comeback and he’ll have his first city ride back aboard Very Fast in the Guinot Handicap (1600m) on the Lakeside track.
Werner’s last city ride resulted in Sandown Hillside track win on Spend A Dime in May 2006.
Werner says his reason for the comeback is simple.
“Because I can,” he said.
“I’ve come back with no expectations. I’m just going to enjoy it but I’m going to have a decent crack at it.
“It took 12 months to convince my wife, but it’s something I wanted to do and I can do it.”
Werner, who won the Group One Newmarket Handicap and Manikato Stakes in 1986 on Lockley’s Tradition, approached Julien Welsh last year to ride work for him at Pakenham.
Welsh trains eight-year-old Very Fast who was Werner’s comeback ride at Sale on Christmas eve.
“He came in one day about four months ago and asked if he could ride a bit of work and I said, `no worries, are you making a comeback?'” Welsh said.
“He got the bug back and is fit and well. I’ve encouraged him and it’s gone from there.
“I think it’s a feather in his cap actually.”
Very Fast ran fourth at Sale first-up and Werner is looking forward to Wednesday’s race.
“He’s not without a show,” the jockey said.
“His run at Sale was very good and he’s never won first-up or under a mile.
“If anything he might be one run short but it’s a good race and we’ll get a good guide on how he’s going.”